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What to Know About Animals Damaging Insulation

During the winters, our homes become warm havens from the cold. Unfortunately, this isn’t a secret to animals living nearby. They can sense the warmth emanating from your home and may seek shelter within it, which causes many problems, especially if they get into your home’s insulation.   

If you’re worried that an animal has infiltrated your home, you should look for:   

  • Scratching, scampering, or vocal noises from your walls, attic, or basement.  
  • A rodent sighting (He probably has friends nearby).  
  • Droppings on your floors in the morning (most rodents are nocturnal).  
  • Signs of chewing on your insulation (bite marks).  
  • A smell of animal urine and feces.   
  • Entry ways from the outside of your home to the inside. 

Though you could attempt to remove the unwanted visitor yourself, you would be wise to call a certified professional instead. Not only will they remove the infestation for good, but they will also remove and replace any damaged insulation and sanitize affected areas. Some wildlife control providers, like WNY Wildlife, will even help you to rodent-proof your home to prevent more critter visits.  

Which animal is in my insulation, and why is it there?  

The most common animals that cause wall, basement, or attic insulation removal and replacement are raccoons, bats, birds, and rodents like rats, mice, and squirrels.   

All these animals enter homes in search of the same things: shelter, warmth, and food. Sometimes, they seek these comforts to raise their young.  

Rodents cause the most severe damage as their small size allows them to get into wiring and go undiscovered for an extended amount of time. You’re more likely to hear sounds of mice and rats during the night. Chew marks on wiring and brown grease marks are signs of mice or rats. While rats strip insulation material to build nests or create small caves, mice create tunnels within the insulation panels.   

Squirrels are heard during the day and leave behind 2-inch entryways with chew marks around them. They rip your insulation into pieces and use the material for their nests.  

Bats are only active in the summer and typically make noises at sunset. Birds will make sounds in the early morning and are more likely to be trapped. Bat feces look like elongated pellets, while bird feces are more liquid. Bats pose a more significant health threat as their feces often carry disease.  

If you hear heavy sounds of slow movement at night, it is probably raccoons. Wider entry holes and muddy footprints are also good signs that you’re dealing with raccoons. Raccoons are responsible for the most destructive insulation damage.  

Problems Caused by Damaged Insulation  

Rising Utility Costs  

If you don’t notice any visible or audible signs of infestation (like those described above), another sign that a critter may have gotten into your home is rising electricity costs and poor insulation. If your utility bill is increasing, it may indicate that an animal has destroyed your insulation or created air leaks.  

Health Problems, Filthy Stains, and Gross Smells  

When an animal finds its way into your home, it’ll urinate and defecate all over the place. Not only does this leave behind nasty stains and gross smells, but their excrement can contaminate the air and pose a health risk. Their feces can grow parasites, bacteria, fungi, and mold, all of which can trigger respiratory illnesses. And, if an animal dies in your home, the stench can persist even after the animal has been removed.  

Cost to replace insulation  

In addition to high utility costs and costs to your health, removing and replacing attic or basement insulation will cost you money. However, contacting a wildlife control provider IMMEDIATELY– as soon as you think an animal might be in your house– will mitigate the damage done and the cost to fix it.   

WNY Wildlife & Exclusion Handles all your Insulation Needs in NY  

If you think an animal has set up shop in your insulation, call the experts at WNY Wildlife & Exclusion for fast and complete expert services. We’re experienced in dealing with all sorts of critters and can handle any type of insulation.  

In addition to removing the animal, we also remove the soiled insulation, sanitize and clean the affected areas, and install new insulation. We can even help rodent proof your home to ensure they never come back!  

Call us today at (716) 203-1166 for a FREE estimate.   

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